A Good Tour of Dockyard and the West End

To make the most of your visit to the West End, plan to combine sea and land transportation. Transit tokens, tickets, and passes work on both ferries and buses, allowing you to hop on and off wherever you please. If you have a bicycle or scooter, you can bring it on the ferry; however, you'll be charged an extra adult fare to take the latter. Once you arrive, the Dockyard itself can be covered easily on foot. Other sights are rather far apart, so plan to take a taxi, bus, or ferry if you're continuing on to Somerset or elsewhere.

The logical place to begin a tour is the Royal Naval Dockyard. Start your day by visiting the National Museum of Bermuda and Dolphin Quest, which are housed together in a stone fortress built between 1837 and 1852. To the left of the entrance is the Snorkel Park Beach, a small protected reef where you can get up close to marine life. Across from the museum entrance, the tempting art gallery and permanent Bermuda Craft Market in the Old Cooperage Building also warrant a visit. To the west are a pottery shop, glassblowing center, and other businesses that occupy attractive old military warehouses; just south is the Clocktower Mall, where you can find still more shops. The Visitor Services Centre is close to the ferry stop. Finish your tour here, or continue via ferry to Somerset Island.

For an interesting change of pace, opt for the slow boat (not the one heading directly to Hamilton) out of the Dockyard. You'll pass by Boaz and Watford islands on your way to Somerset Island, fringed on both sides with beautiful secluded coves, inlets, and bays. Getting off the ferry at Watford Bridge, you can make a quick jaunt into Somerset Village, which consistently ranks among Bermuda's prettiest communities.

The next sights, reached via Somerset Road, are best visited by bus or scooter. About 2 miles east of Somerset Village, opposite the Willowbank Hotel, is the entrance to the Heydon Trust, which has gardens and a tiny 1616 chapel. Around the bend on your left is Fort Scaur, a serene spot with sweeping views of the Great Sound. Linking Somerset Island with the rest of Bermuda is Somerset Bridge, built in 1620 and reputedly the smallest working drawbridge in the world. Across the bridge, Somerset Road becomes Middle Road, which leads into Southampton Parish.

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